Here are a few notes to guide potential and actual hosts of the Carnival.
1. We always need volunteers to host, so don’t be shy about stepping up. Hosts get great exposure and extra traffic that week - and many new readers will stick around if they like what they find. To qualify, you will need to have submitted 3 posts to the Carnival. When you are on board with that qualification, to volunteer as a host email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at mailto:email@example.com.
If you have a topic that interests you that you would like to suggest and host that would be great. You might have a topic you would like to see information or support on, or know of a topic that would stimulate some interesting posts. I don't plan to think up all the topics for new carnivals by myself. Your input and ideas are very welcome.
2. At this point, the carnival will be posted on the Monday after the last Friday of the month as a monthly edition. As we grow and more people contribute we will move to bi-monthly and eventually weekly if we have too many contributors. Monthly seems OK for now.
3. We want the Carnival to adopt the character of the host site every week, so we will try to avoid being micro-managers. All we ask is that you feature at least 10 submissions from entries being submitted by other bloggers. If there are not 10 submissions for a carnival, list the sumitted links you have and then share more of your own expertise for everyone else. You may want to link to some other blog posts you have found on the topic or some articles, etc. While this carnival is in the formative stages we will need to be creative and make it worthwhile for people to want to go there and refer it to others. That will be a way that it will grow.
4. Procedure for your Carnival:
Hosts simply obtain the entries links sent to them via the carnival service and then write their Carnival as a post on their own blog. Once I know a topic and host and have the hosts' email and web address, I will post that information as a new edition link to our blog carnival on the carnival service site. As a host, you should receive all referred posts through them. No one will see your email address, it is for the service and I to coordinate with you only. It is up to you to let people know your address.
• Entries should arrive by the deadline of 12.00 pm PST on the last Friday of the month, but we do get late ones too. It would be good if you accommodate them.
• If you get a lot of entries, it’s up to you how you deal with these. It’s nice if you link to them, even better if you link and describe them. But we appreciate that your time is limited and you may be restricted as to how much more work you can do.
• One post in your Carnival should be your “Best Post of the Month”.
• If possible, try to choose and highlight a newcomer to the Carnival.
• Your job as host is to “sell” the reader on visiting individual contributors’ sites, NOT to summarize the entries so that a visit isn’t needed. Therefore, don’t tell the whole story - get the reader to want to read the whole post. You are just posting in one blog entry the name and number of the Carnival, the topic and then list the post links to other blog with a brief "teaser".
• Please finish your post by telling readers where the next Carnival will be held. See this blog's home and calendar for this information.
• You should aim to get the Carnival up and running on your site by Monday of the next week after post submission deadlines.
IMPORTANT: The purpose of this carnival is to provide constructive and positive information on assistive technology and it's use and other RELATED information. A side benefit is that you get to invite others to your blog and increase your traffic. Please do not abuse this opportunity by putting up unrelated links and ads to try and create sales of something. If your blog sidebar has ads or links to information, services or products you sell, that is fine, but keep them out of the actual posts please.
Once the Carnival is up on your site, everyone who has been featured should link to you and send you lots of their traffic. If you notice that someone isn’t playing the game, it’s ok to gently remind them to announce it, but generally people are very good about doing this. However, there are also a couple of other things you can do to get more quality traffic and promote your hosting. We recommend you do these, but it’s your decision:
Use other blogs and social bookmark sites to post links to your blog for the Carnival post. You can repost your Carnival post on forums (as a new topic) but without individual links to the posts BUT do link to your site. The idea on all of these is to give people a flavor of what the Carnival is about that week, but they have to come to your site to get the links to the stories.
You can announce the Carnival is at your site. Something along the lines of:
“Carnival # is Out.
Check out the latest Assistive Technology Blog Carnival , which is at [name of your site] this month. Please pay a visit to read this month’s best writing about AT on the web. Watch out for [write a sentence about a story that will pull people in].”
Finally, don’t forget to email me that the Carnival is up. If you’ve just hosted a Carnival and can think of anything that you’d like to see here that would help future hosts, please let me know.
Good luck. May your traffic counters begin to spin!